I can’t say goodbye: rock classic is popular again, but it’s not happy
In the UK, the re-release of The Beatles’ Abbey Road in early autumn led the national hit parade. And now, interest in this chic box with a bunch of additional material has not dried up. Why is this fact not pleasing to me?
Omniscient statistics attest: this happened 49 years 252 days after the record came down from first place. “It’s hard to believe that Abbey Road still holds on after all these years,” Paul McCartney tweeted. The Beatles broke their own record: the album “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band “break between the first places in the British charts was 49 years 125 days.
Not that I don’t love The Beatles. For example, I like the late period. Yes, and solo Lennon. And Harrison somehow revealed itself over the years. And solo McCartney. And I bought a box set from the CD of all the albums of 2009. In general, I am pleased with a lot of Beatle’s things, what can I hide. Well, talking about the “classics” is somehow inconvenient. Classics – they are classics! But frankly, this Beatle mania is already sick of it. Half a century is one and the same. Why? Classics, in theory, should not lead in charts. This thing, so to speak, is transcendental: it imbues our culture – and that’s it. And the Beatles culture is certainly saturated: all the rock styles, one way or another, either grew from their albums, or took something from them. Well, or like punk rock – they are sharply denied, although there is also a way to see it.
The Abbey Road album is packed with great songs (my favorite is the final triad of Carry that Weight / Golden Slumbers / The End) – very few people argue with that either. It is logical that this album, reissued with a bunch of additional material, “went” to a very different audience. But the reissues of Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin are equally in high demand – although you haven’t heard something there? spelled out. ” In the courtyard of the XXI century. Classic rock beats sales on media (vinyl for sure, on CD too) and normally listens to streaming. This is a gold reserve that saves the record industry. People seem to have nothing more to listen to. Absurd? Not really. The thing is that at one time there was a hierarchy. Like in my Soviet childhood: there are Michael Jackson, Madonna, Depeche Mode, and everyone knows them. The Americans even came up with the term “household names”. In our opinion: “from any iron” or “every housewife knows.” And all the megastars now are either rock dinosaurs of the turn of the 60s and 70s, or stars of the 80s, or those who started in the early 90s (for example, Robbie Williams).
With the spread of music on the Internet, the hierarchy has disappeared. There is an economic reason for this: show business corporations do not want to invest in advertising songs and albums that everyone will download for free. No, they earn something on streaming, selling all sorts of Apple Music and Spotify entire catalogs for millions of dollars, but it’s not very clear what and how to spin. Download someone – and thank God. Therefore, they put on a sure thing. And all the same: when some strange Billy Ailish shoots – well, this is not Michael Jackson. And Jackson will be gone. Like the Beatles. Therefore, we live in a world of retromomania. The term was coined by the English journalist and mass culture researcher Simon Reynolds. In his opinion, culture only does that which reproduces itself – for complex psychological and economic reasons. Talking about them within the column will not work, because the book itself is a thousand pages long, plus an endless maze of footnotes. But the concept is extremely convincing. See for yourself.
We read historical novels (more precisely, candy-glossy stories about the old days: good, clean, when tidy gentlemen went to church on Sundays, crunched a French bun, did not smack the peasants and did not sell black slaves). We look remakes: even in the recent original “Joker” the synephiles found references to Martin Scorsese. It would seem where are the children’s comics, and where is the classic Scorsese? But now everything is arranged and mixed like this. Well, there’s no hierarchy! So, in my unenlightened opinion, the leadership of The Beatles in the charts after half a century says not so much about what beatles are good and talented (this is a no brainer), but about what we have with you, dear compatriots, music lovers and musicians, not good with imagination, interest and choice.